Spurs news and notes: Spurs get a break, Pop on Duncan an All-Star, and more

• The San Antonio Spurs are back in San Antonio for a much needed break from the Rodeo Road Trip:

“We need the break,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “A couple of those older-than-dirt guys need a rest. It’s good to have these couple of days.”

Manu Ginobili:

“For me, this break is huge. I was a little sore before the game. The Lakers game was tough for me, and then there was that last play, so I guess I was a little unlucky. But I’m happy. We played really well, and we have three days off, and it’s going to help heal wounds.” (Express News)

• Here is what Spurs’ coach Popovich had to say about Tim Duncan making the 2011 Western Conference All-Star squad:

“You look at our record right now and he’s a big part of that,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Duncan. “I’m sure he’s moved that the coaches recognized what he’s done this year to help this team be where it is, so I’m thrilled for him.” (jsonline.com)

Hit the jump to read about Tony Parker’s All-Star snub, who got a vote for Coach of the Year, how to win free tickets to the Spurs-Oklahoma City Thunder game in San Antonio this month, and more.

• Hoops World says Tony Parker should have made the 2011 Western Conference All-Star squad:

A name that isn’t being talked about as a snub enough, though, is San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker. There are a lot of people in the San Antonio area who feel like Parker was undeservingly looked past, especially when you factor in the Spurs league-leading record of 42-8. If the Eastern-Conference leading Boston Celtics got four players in, San Antonio should at least have all three of their equally-important leaders in there, not just Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.

• Boston.com gives coach Popovich their vote for Coach of the Year:

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio: In the preseason, this column listed the Spurs as a team on the decline because it was aging. But Popovich added a couple of younger pieces, limited Duncan’s minutes to increase his effectiveness, and induced a standout season from Richard Jefferson. San Antonio is cruising to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, meaning the bumbling Lakers will have to reach the Finals without home-court advantage.

• UCLA’s freshman center Joshua Smith is compared to Spurs’ center DeJuan Blair:

“What you see on film and your game preparation and what you try and simulate is still different than the real thing,” said Lavin, who described Smith as a younger version of the San Antonio Spurs’ DeJuan Blair. (latimes.com)

•Express News’ Tim Griffin talks about who performed well and who didn’t in the NBA from last night.

Want to win a free pair of Spurs-Thunder tickets later this month in San Antonio? Just follow @projectspurstiq on Twitter for a chance to win.

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